Feher's Golden Goal Downs Oakland in Overtime, 1-0
Aug. 31, 2014
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Junior Amy Feher delivered the golden goal in the 98th minute to give Illinois a 1-0 overtime victory over Oakland in its first road contest of the year on Sunday. The Illini dominated possession with a 29-4 advantage in shots, but OU's keeper Alison Holland made 10 saves to keep the game close. Sophomore goalkeepers Claire Wheatley and Michelle Denley combined for their second shutout of the season.
"It was one of those days where you felt like something was going to give at some point," head coach Janet Rayfield said. "Credit to Oakland for fighting hard in the box and having their keeper in the right place at the right time. It certainly took a lot longer than we would have liked, but we had that one moment of composure with Amy in overtime."
Feher scored her first goal of the season and first game-winner of her career. The Copley, Ohio, native, who played the entire game on the back line, pushed up in the extra period and sent a shot from the left side into the upper-right corner of the goal to end the game at the OU Soccer Field.
"Amy was able to make a run behind the ball," Rayfield said. "She hit one from the opposite side past the keeper and into the netting on the far side. We were waiting for that moment of composure to put one where the keeper wasn't and finally got it."
Wheatley started the game in goal and played the first half, while Denley took over for the second half and overtime, making one save. The back line of Feher, junior Aliina Weykamp, sophomore Hope D'Addario and freshman Abby Elinsky limited Oakland to four shots and one corner kick.
"The back line continues to step up," Rayfield said. "They stayed focused to make sure they wouldn't make the mistake that would cost us the game. Michelle's strengths were a big part of what we were going to see in the second half, so we went with her and she read the game very well. It was certainly a great performance by our defense all around."
Eleven different Illini attempted a shot, led by seven from senior Jannelle Flaws. She put three on frame but all were stopped. Junior Nicole Breece took five shots, while freshman Kara Marbury had four shots. Feher and sophomore Allison Stucky each took three shots.
Illinois improved to 3-1-0 with its third consecutive win, while Oakland fell to 1-3-0. The Illini have only allowed four goals through four games, showing an impressive defensive improvement from last year where UI had given up 11 goals after four games.
The Orange and Blue posted their first 1-0 win since Nov. 12, 2012, against Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
Up Next: Illinois will head to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, for a pair of games next weekend at the College of Charleston Cup. The Illini will square off against the College of Charleston on Friday (Sept. 5) and UAB on Sunday (Sept. 7).